Even for the most diligent and serious students, this is still summer vacation.
It is not that Hinagiku and Chiharu wanted to be in Kyoto in the first place. They assumed that they were accompanying Nagi on her trip to look for inspiration. However, as Nagi turned up in Hokkaido instead, there is actually no point for Hinagiku and Chiharu to be in Kyoto any more. At the very least, this would be the case until Nagi finally shows up in Kyoto.
But this is summer vacation. Even the most diligent and serious students could enjoy a “pointless” trip to Kyoto. As they could do nothing for Nagi until she arrives, Hinagiku suggests to “just enjoy the sights”. If the original purpose can’t be served, it might be good to just find a new purpose.
The thing is, it seems that both Hinagiku and Chiharu are just too confident in Maria’s abilities. While Maria is amazing in housework and a lot of other things, she is almost as much an “indoor cat” as Nagi. Her journey to Kyoto with Athena could well be as jaw-dropping as Nagi’s…
As for Hinagiku and Chiharu, there is nothing “tricky” about their stay in Kyoto. They use the correct tools to look for direction to sights (navigator for Chiharu, and map for Hinagiku). They eat when their bodies tell them it is necessary. They retreat to their inn when it is getting dark. All the things they do are reasonable, responsible and predictable, and they do not have the bad luck of Hayate to mess things up for them.
To a certain extent, it is quite boring. In fact, if everyone behaves properly, reasonably and responsibly, then we have a very sensible world. If such a world is presented in a manga, then we have a very sensible manga. You see, the main weakness of being “sensible” is that, it doesn’t bring up much drama. A manga without drama is indeed boring.
Then again, we already have a lot of “tricky” people – according to Hata, anyway. If there is no “boring” people around, the whole world would soon turn into a madhouse – just look at the current “Kyoto and Ise” arc. When everyone else is pressing the self-destruct button, I am actually glad that there are still people doing the sensible things.
If we are to take this chapter as a tour guide to Kyoto, it actually works quite well. We are introduced to two temples (Kinkaku-Ji and Ginkaku-Ji), a snack (aburimochi) and an inn. Now I do feel like wanting to visit Kyoto, after reading this “boring” tour guide. It is indeed the “sensible” nature of the people and things which gives us the impression of “boring”.
Hinagiku and Chiharu are not really that “boring” to begin with. These are two very intelligent girls, and they seem to enjoy outsmarting each other through teasing. Chiharu makes fun of Hinagiku for her verbal blunder, her appetite (which is large, honestly) and her lack of “loveliness”. Hinagiku strikes back for Chiharu being “weird” and her lack of exercise. I used to think that these two are not close enough friends, but I am proven wrong: you do not tease your friend lightly unless you are sure that she could take it.
The two girls both confess their love of the Violet Mansion, and this is something. Chiharu admired living at the Mansion since the beginning, but the main reason she moved in was that her house was burnt down. Hinagiku did not even want to move in until being blackmailed by Athena. After moving into the Mansion for a month or two, both are now in love with it. If CTMEOY and Cuties are to be considered canon, then we know the reason for Hinagiku and Chiharu to stay at the Violet Mansion into September: they love living at there.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, Chiharu blushes furiously at Hinagiku’s naked body. I can’t tell if it means that Chiharu is now a member of “Hinagiku’s harem”, but it is amusing that a body with supposedly nothing to see could turn another girl on like this. Chest size, apparently, is not a problem at all. Seriously.
Meanwhile, Chiharu proves that some people simply do not take off their glasses when taking a bath. As she is taking a bath instead of a shower, it could well be okay. The main reason for her refusal to take off her glasses, I think, is that she doesn’t want Hinagiku to see her without glasses. Chiharu doesn’t wear glasses when working as Sakuya’s maid, and we all know that she doesn’t want Hinagiku to know of this part-time job. I am not sure if Hinagiku knows anything about Haru-san the maid, but it is wise for Chiharu not to take any chances.
It should have been a happy trip for them, but as they go sightseeing and have fun, Hinagiku mentions Nagi’s name for a total of five times. I am not sure if Hinagiku is supposed to be worried about Nagi – she is not Hinagiku’s “life in itself (sparkling!)”, anyway – but Hinagiku is worried about Nagi. I guess Hinagiku’s care for her friend is something to be appreciated.
Funny enough, Hinagiku manages to miss the oncoming Nagi because her attention is on the tea stalk. I am not sure if this “good omen” (in Japanese culture) or Hinagiku’s “feeling” from the night before is correct or not, but there is hope. At the very least, Nagi is far more reachable to them now than before.
Let’s see if the “boring” girl could do the “sensible” thing of reuniting with Nagi.